why is cancer more of a problem today than it was 100 years ago?

because there are a lot of dirty mixed chemical air pollution to this day that we huff n puff it in our lungs. back then there was no mixed chemical in our air pollution.

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Wow. Very impressed with "Amaretta" who hit the answer right on the head.

    Also amazed that "Tink" knows Samuel Pepys and his journal from the 1660's

    in London. You have some very good answers which means you asked a good question.

    "Formerly" has an excellent answer too.

    In 1906 the average life span was about 46/47 years in the USA.

    The vast majority of cancers and cancer deaths today

    affect people over 60 years of age.

    The number one killer in 1906 was tuberculosis.

    TB killed 200 people per 100,000 population which is the same

    as the death rate from ALL types of cancer together now.

    TB was clearly the number one killer. Cancers were number eight.

    Above cancers were a number of infections easily cured now.

    We have only had antibiotics since World War II (penicillin)

    Antibiotics for TB came along in the 1950's.

    Since then we have stayed ahead of infecting microorganisms

    with newer antibiotics.

    With average life spans of nearly 80 years, we are bound to see more cancers.

    Source(s): MD Medical Oncologist and Hematologist - a cancer and blood specialist doctor - with twenty years experience
  • 6 years ago

    I might be amateur to the argument but suspect that todays shift in the manufacture of food products have played a huge part. Furthermore, the unknown potential threat of current technology raises an eyebrow which might jeopardize our health. Multi Trillion Industries such as the cell phone business would not necessarily come out saying that their devices could pose a threat however I suspect you should watch what you eat & keep that tech at arms length.

  • 7 years ago

    I believe its more complex than people getting older,one out of three of everyone will get cancer,I know our Capitalist society dont like to hear this but its what we consume everyday from the air to all of our food thats killing us.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The reason -- pollution of the world now with a lot of chemicals used in manufacturing which get into the ground, the water, the air, etc. and electromagnetic radiation with the wireless world. One hundred years ago the world was a lot cleaner and healthier. What's important In life is to know God as a Christian so you can pray about your life daily. God can help you live your life right. Also, as a Christian, you can go to heaven forever when you die someday, if you are faithfully following Him. If you don't follow God in your life, you end up in hell, a very bad place of suffering. Praying the prayer below will make you a Christian. Then, live it out with faith and love for God and Jesus Christ, love others, Bible study, prayer, and church. It's about having a relationship with God. God is our Creator, life, love, all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, divine. It's important for you to try to be kind and caring, good and loving to others generally, and God will help you feel His love for you, and help you love others for Him.

    This is how to know God -- the basic Christian message and prayer --- you need to accept God's Son, Jesus Christ, into your life to be a Christian and follow God's ways so you can receive God's guidance in your life and get to heaven after you die. Knowing God can transform your life. As God is love, life is primarily about love and relationships in order to have a rich and full life. Also, you need to know God's Son, Jesus Christ, in your life as your Lord and Savior as Jesus died on the cross as payment for our sins. Having Him with you will give you God's blessing and forgiveness, as you live God's way. There is an important prayer to pray to become a Christian. This prayer should be said with faith in God and a sincere heart:

    "Dear God, I know that I am a sinful person and I don't want to be like this anymore. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for our sins, and I want to accept Jesus Christ into my life as my Lord and Savior so I can receive God's forgiveness, guidance, and go to heaven someday. Thank you, dear God, for your mercy and guidance; in Jesus' name. Amen."

    This prayer can take you to a new place in your relationship with God and transform your life. After saying this prayer, you should check out a Christian church, like Baptist or Lutheran (not ELCA Lutheran). The church can get you baptized and prayed for, and you can pray for yourself daily.

    The church can get you into their Bible study group so you can learn more about God, Jesus, and God's will for your life. The Bible is God's instruction book about how to live a God-honoring life so you can go to heaven after you die.

    Ways to stay connected to God's path include loving God and Jesus Christ, obeying God's ways, daily Bible reading, daily prayer for yourself and others, getting to church, having your church prayer group and/or pastor pray for you, fasting with prayer for a higher level of prayer, getting with other Christians and doing a Bible study, singing hymns to God, taking communion with the church, helping and loving others, expressing your gratitude to God for His help in your life by telling others of your progress and helping them draw closer to God too, tithing at church, volunteering at church. Continue to turn from sins and seek God's forgiveness in your life as you live your daily life.

    For more information about Jesus Christ, read the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

    God guide your life.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    people died of disease caused by uncleanliness back then. the average life expectancy was many years younger, so in some respects they didn't live long enough to develop cancer

  • 8 years ago

    Where did you come up with the idea that cancer is more of a problem today and that pollution is worse? The evidence that cancer is more prevalent is inconclusive. Many diseases that are now recognized as cancer were not recognized as cancer in the past. Some particular cancers that were once rare have skyrocketed and some cancers that were common 100 years ago are uncommon today. Many types of cancers have seen a steady rate of decline in the past 50 years; some have increased.

    Most cancers also become more common as a person ages and people now live a lot longer. Most people didn't live long enough to get cancer 100 years ago. The average lifespan in the US 100 years ago was around 50 years old. Cancers that occur at an early age were more common 100 years ago than today. This supports the idea that cancers are related to pollution.

    Pollution 100 years ago was also much worse than today because the chemical industry was cranking out all sorts of new chemicals; no one knew or even cared what the chemicals did to people or the environment, and there were no regulations or efforts to control pollution. The industrial age was gearing up full swing. Kerosene was distilled from coal tar, and people use kerosene lamps to light their homes. The houses were filled with fumes from kerosene and early versions of kerosene carried hundreds of carcinogens. DDT and several other pesticides that are now banned had been discovered more than 100 years ago and they were routinely used indoors and out. Most heating and electricity production came from coal and the air was full of sulfuric acid and coal-related pollutants in winter.

    If you go back 200 years, then you hit an era when there wasn't much pollution. The average life span was around 40 years old. No one kept statistics of cancer deaths, and most cancers had not even been named. So, there's no way to compare cancer rates in a polluted world with cancer rates before pollution.

  • Tink
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I'm afraid your rant is incorrect, levels of cancers have slightly declined*.

    I suggest you read some Sam Pepys is you think the past was so pure.

    The River Thames was so thick with dead bodies from the butchers of London, and human waste (which is where people bathed and drank) that you could smell it for miles.

    *Edit: I double checked - the numbers of cases have gone up, as Spreedog asserts, that would be due to people living longer - but the mortality rates have gone down.

  • 8 years ago

    Because it took years of eating like crap before our bodies were destroyed enough to get cancer.

  • 8 years ago

    Homes were still heated with wood or coal 100 years ago -- the air was so dirty that it stained the brickwork and stones on homes, churches, factories and other buildings. Cancer is more of a problem now because people are living longer. They aren't dying of TB, pneumonia, heart attacks and infections like they did in the early 1900's. Cancer is more likely to affect elderly people than younger adults because it takes time for the mutations to develop and we have more elderly people now than at any time in the past.

  • 8 years ago

    I'm sure they still had cancer back then. It just wasn't diagnosed as such. They didn't have the technology to diagnose the ailment or cause of death.

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